‘Invincible’ Season 2, Part 1 Review: “Emotional and Physical Beats”
Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service has become a notable factor in the superhero/comic book/fantasy TV show/film wars. With shows like The Boys, Wheel of Time, Ring of Fire, and the subject of this review Invincible making an impact and increasing subscriptions. Invincible’s first season had a chokehold on fans of Robert Kirkman’s original work and people who only found out about the show through Prime Video. Sometimes, shows are a one-off on Prime, but Invincible proves with Part 1 of season 2, it’s here to stay.
Read: ‘The Tunnel To Summer, The Exit Of Goodbyes’ Review: “Familiar Fantasy Highlighted By Gorgeous Animation”
Invincible is about Mark Grayson (Steve Yuen), a young man whose father is essentially a Superman archetype in this universe named Omni-Man (JK Simmons). There’s also the Guardians of the Globe and many other heroes are included in this story. The first season is all about Mark’s story and how he becomes the hero we will eventually know as Invincible. Season one ends with Mark realizing his entire life was a lie. His father is an alien from a distant planet called Voltrum, and he’s on Earth to start the hostile take over and alien invasion.
Now, season two of Invincible is here and it’s a doozy. It starts off almost immediately from where season one ends. The beginning of the first episode throws a hefty haymaker that may or may not land with most audiences. A multiverse, anchored by Angstrom Levy (Sterling K. Brown), who, in short terms, is Kang the Conqueror but good. The show bookmarks that and goes to show us Mark trying to lead a normal life. He eventually is called on by Cecil (Walton Goggins) to take his father’s place.
The second season is all about character development and Mark trying to learn how to fully balance superhero and normal life. The more the season goes, the harder and harder it becomes. Unfortunately, Mark wants the free rein his father had, and that’s the last thing Cecil wants. This season also deals with Debbie (Sandra Oh) adjusting to an Omni-Man less life. She’s also coping with how things ended.
The manner in which Invincible deals with Debbie is important, and the entirety of it is emotional. Finding out your life and marriage are a lie would do irreparable damage to most people, and this is a heavy part of her story. One of the most important emotional beats in the show, along with Amber and Mark’s relationship, plus William’s love life. There are some others as well, but they are surprises, and I am not one for spoiling shows.
The Guardians of the Globe who could absolutely have their own show get their story expanded a bit in season two. They are still a focal part of the story, but not to the degree of the first season, so far. Just like every other comic book universe, Invincible has a knack for bringing back characters from the dead. Rex Plode (Jason Mantzoukas), Robot (Zachary Quinto), Dupli Kate (Melise), Monster Girl (Grey Griffin), Bulletproof, and Immortal (Ross Marquand) are all in full effect this season.
The Mauler Twins (Kevin Michael Richardson) are also very important this season. We know they’re tech genius aliens that can clone things, but as I mentioned before, this season introduces a multiverse. I know, we are starting to see some repetitive themes across our superhero content, but it’s all about execution right? If it is, Invincible handles it the correct way. There’s a lot to love and involves our favorite blue alien clones(?).
To no one’s surprise, Invincible Season 2 absolutely brings the violence. The fight scenes and sequences in this season are on par or much more brutal with season one. Honestly, take season one and multiply it by about ten, and you still wouldn’t be able to understand some of the brutality in season two. The action sequences are amazing, and the animation is some of the best I’ve seen in 2023. The art, animation, and production team deserve all the praise. The first part of the second season of Invincible is incredible on all fronts.
The voice acting as always is amazing. The addition of Sterling K. Brown and his character being very important is a boost. Last season we saw the likes of Mahershala Ali, Justin Roiland, Seth Rogen (who appears this season as well), and others join the voice cast for Invincible. This season there are some unexpected voices here and there that are very distinct to keep the show fun.
Invincible season two, part one is full of emotional and physical beats. I’ll compare it to season five of Rick and Morty as far as emotional goes. Invincible that deals with a lot with mental health. It’s relatable if you’ve ever dealt with any issues that affect you mentally. The physicality and violence, though? I think the only thing that compares to that is the first season animated wise. This is just a brutal beatdown from both corners that definitely deserves to be broken up into two parts. This first half is appropriately insane, so I can only imagine the insanity part two will bring.
Before its debut two years ago, I wasn’t expecting much from Invincible, but this show has smashed any expectations I eventually gained. I thoroughly enjoy it, and think it’s one of the best animated superhero shows we’ve had in a long time. Beyond the violence, this is a series that understands the importance of character development and strong, emotional narratives. This is a great writer’s room and the directors who all have collectively different styles stay the course to keep it cohesive. Sometimes, that’s a tall task and hard ask. Invincible has found a way to navigate and maintain excellence. One of the most anticipated TV shows in 2023, and it does not disappoint. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Rating – 9.5/10
Invincible Season 2, Part 1 premieres this Friday, November 3rd.
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